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Obamacare’s Centralization of Date Fuels Privacy Fears

The biggest overhaul of the U.S. health-care system in 50 years has spawned one of the most complex computer projects in the government’s history.

Dubbed the Hub, the $267 million computer system built by a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) is one of the most important determiners of whether the Affordable Care Act succeeds. The hub ties together the databases of seven U.S. agencies, ranging from the Internal Revenue Service to the Peace Corps, to determine which Americans can buy medical coverage and get U.S. subsidies through the new government-run insurance exchanges.

Marilyn Tavenner, the Medicare chief whose agency will oversee the hub, is set to report in a congressional hearing today that the system’s construction is complete and testing will be finished by Sept. 1, a month before the exchanges open. Security, a subject scrutinized by Republicans, will be assured through strict rules on standards that all parties who use the hub must sign, U.S. officials said. ...

“It’s information on 300 million Americans, all compiled in one place -- what could go wrong?” said Representative James Lankford, the Oklahoma Republican presiding over today’s hearing, in a telephone interview. “They’re going to have to assure a lot of Americans that their information is going to be held safe, and that there’s a purpose for that.”

Source: Bloomberg. Read full article. (link)

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  • Bob Straub||

    In headline: "Date" = "Data"?

  • Sevo||

    I think you're right; "date" no fit, senor.

  • Sevo||

    “It’s information on 300 million Americans, all compiled in one place -- what could go wrong?”

    Oh, for pete's sake! The DMV in CA with scant data on, what, 20m people, can't spell my name right.
    And this is gonna do what?!

  • JWatts||

    And this is gonna do what?!

    It's right there in the story.

    " to determine which Americans can buy medical coverage and get U.S. subsidies through the new government-run insurance exchanges."

    It's going to broadly transfer money from tax payers to a concentrated group. Ideally a group that currently votes Blue and will be even Bluer in the future.

  • Sevo||

    "It's right there in the story.
    " to determine which Americans can buy medical coverage and get U.S. subsidies through the new government-run insurance exchanges."
    It's going to broadly transfer money from tax payers to a concentrated group. Ideally a group that currently votes Blue and will be even Bluer in the future."

    It WILL do some of that, as in distribute money from one party to the other.
    My point is that it will do it in ways totally un-related to the presumed distribution paths. It will be gamed by those clever enough to do so at the loss of those not clever enough to do so.
    Example:
    Glide Memorial Church in SF, lead by the wealthy 'hero' Cecil Williams, hands out turkeys every Thanksgiving to 'needy' people. We know they are needy, since they get in line. One block down the street, you can watch turkeys turn into dope right before your eyes!
    And, strangely, some of the magicians who did that transformation are still needy and get back in line.

  • JWatts||

    "The system’s broad reach has raised concerns among Republicans who have said they fear consumer privacy could be threatened by computer hackers who target the system, sloppy handling of equipment used to access the data or, more nefariously, by government officials who may misuse the information that’s collected."

    Those stupid Republicans. When has a government official ever abused their power? Any reports to the contrary are just part of the vast right wing conspiracy to unfairly malign the pure motives of our glorious and selfless civil servants.

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